HUMBLEDON & Plains Farm saw their Second Division promotion dreams wrecked by Peterlee Helford in a 3-3 draw.
Other results needed to go in their favour, but the least Plainsy needed was to win themselves.
They were quick out of the blocks and took a deserved lead on 15 minutes. As Peterlee found their feet, Paul Lowther and Brian Esteris went close, but the Sunderland side were still on top but unable to convert their chances.
Right on half-time, they were made to pay for this when Mal Priddy headed home Graham Ramshaw’s perfectly delivered free-kick.
Plainsy pushed forward after the break, but Peterlee took the lead when Paul Watson found himself unmarked and duly slotted home.
Humbledon responded by throwing extra men forward and equalised five minutes later with a close-range header and then went 3-2 in front almost immediately.
Their joy was shortlived though because Helford levelled straight from the restart, Watson heading in Lowther’s cross.
With 20 minutes still to play, Plains threw caution to the wind in their search for victory, but Peterlee squandered the best opportunities to seal the win, including a missed penalty after Watson had been brought down.
Coxhoe Red Lion, with a game still to play, clinched third place above Plainsy thanks to a 2-0 win at Durham Stonebridge.
Champions Wearmouth CW ran out 4-0 winners at Cobblers Hall.
Wingate Constitutional lost their last game of the season, 3-1 at home to promotion-chasing North Ormesby Vets.
It leaves them one place above the relegation zone, only on goal difference, and they must now wait on the outcome of Blakelaw SC’s last game, which is also against North Ormesby.
Houghton Cricket Club and Blue House are already down.
Peterlee Helford, prior to drawing with Humbledon, secured survive with a memorable 10-4 drubbing of South Shields Catholic.
Paul Watson and Alan Revie both grabbed hat-tricks, the latter sealing his first ever treble for the club with a magnificent solo effort, while Brian Esteris, Paul Lowther, star man Ian Broom and Graham Ramshaw also struck.
Horden Sportsmans will be crowned Third Division champions if they win their final game of the season at Redcar Old Boys tomorrow.
They go into the game a point behind Thornley Celtic, who ended their campaign with a close-fought 1-0 win over Fiddlers Three.
Horden Sportsmans, in their penultimate match, won 3-0 at Hedworthfield Red Hackle. They started the game like a house on fire. Lee Davis saw his header cleared off the line and Billy Scott hit the bar, but they had to wait until the 20-minute mark to break the deadlock, when Micky Cole crossed from the right and Scott got round the back of the defence and slipped the ball under the keeper.
Hedworthfield rarely threatened, but, at the start of the second half, Horden keeper Tony Pyle made a crucial point-blank save to keep them out.
After that, normal service was resumed and Sportsmans added two quick goals midway through the half. Scott chested down another right-wing cross before sending a low drive into the corner of the net, then Davis beat the offside trap to fire in off the post.
Centre-half Brian Crawford was Horden’s man of the match.
The Philadelphia eased their relegation fears with a 7-1 success at Boldon Colliery Tavern, while Willow Pond also secured three much-needed points, winning 5-0 at Trimdon Vets, whose relegation was confirmed. Shildon Grey Horse, who face Willow in a potentially vital game next weekend, kept their survival hopes on track by winning 2-0 at Richmond Town.
In their final Premier Division match of the season, Steels SC travelled to Spennymoor Salvin Arms looking to continue their form from the previous week’s success at South Shields.
They started brightly and, when man of the match Brett Cummings broke through the home defence, it looked like Sowerby would put them in front, but his well-hit shot was blocked.
Steels kept up the pressure and a Stronach shot beat the keeper but came back off the post.
Apart from the odd breakaway, Steels were never really troubled. However, despite numerous chances, they could not find the killer touch, and the game ended 0-0.
Marden will be crowned champions if they beat third-bottom Ferryhill Greyhound at home tomorrow.
Cramlington Burton House suffered a huge setback with a 1-0 midweek defeat at Blyth Sea Horse, while third-placed Hartlepool Touchdown kept their slim title hopes alive with a 4-1 win at Washington Cross Keys.
Bob Smith and Lee Crosby finished off passes from Scott Newbegin to put Touchdown two up, but Keys broke away to cut the deficit with an Andy Lumsden header.
Keys pushed hard for a leveller, but Touchdown looked the likelier and they wrapped up the win with two late goals from Smith, completing his hat-trick.
In Division One, Grindon Broadway secured a 4-2 win over Pelton Crown to climb above their opponents into sixth place, while fourth-top Ryhope Foresters beat relegation-threatened St Mary’s College 3-1.
Foresters finish off with a home game against Hartlepool Gillen Arms on Wednesday, after a trip to second-bottom Gateshead Rutherford tomorrow.
Heaton Stannington finished their season with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Hartlepool Gillen Arms, who led with a Buster Bellwood screamer from 30 yards.
They finish six points behind champions Penshaw Catholic Club but can be overtaken in second place by Wallsend Community or Ryhope Foresters.
Rolls-Royce clinched the runners-up spot in Division Four, behind champions Oddies, when they won their final game 2-1 at Durham City Strollers.
Sedgefield Black Lion, also promoted in third place, finished off with a 1-0 win over fifth-placed Waldridge Park.